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J Forensic Sci. 2013 Sep;58(5):1189-92. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12236. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Necropsy findings in dogs that died during grooming or other pet service procedures.

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Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva, 87-Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP 05508 270, Brazil.


Procedures involved in grooming, bathing, and other pet services can often lead animals to death. Of the necropsies of 1391 animals carried out at a private diagnostic laboratory in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 2004 to 2009, 94 were dogs that died during the above-mentioned procedures. Young male dogs and small breeds like Poodle Miniature, Yorkshire Terrier, and Lhasa Apso were most frequently observed. Blunt-force trauma was responsible for the deaths of 31% of the animals, with a higher incidence of trauma to the head, characterized chiefly by fractures and nervous tissue lesions. In the other 69% of cases, the animals showed signs of stress, and died due to pulmonary edema and hemorrhage. As we cannot rule out the intentional character in some situations, this article provides veterinary forensic support for veterinarians and pet owners, especially in lawsuits, helping in finding the cause of animal's death in such pet services.


bathing; dogs; forensic science; grooming; pet services; pulmonary hemorrhage; stress; trauma; veterinary forensic science

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